Years before there was an established "Willamette River Water Trail" there was... Paddle Oregon!
In 2001, Willamette Riverkeeper invited the world to "join us in the Northwest's newest outdoor tradition!" Our goal was to "promote education, recreation and public awareness of the Willamette River's beauty, heritage and environmental habitats." We believed that a critical mass of paddlers could "help shape the transformation of the river from the 19th and 20th century utilitarian values and uses to the 21st century goal of a pristine, sustainable resource for recreation, economic growth and healthy habitat."
Today, after 19 adventures, 1900 river miles, over 2000 participants and volunteers, plus one nationally recognized Water Trail system, we think it's safe to claim that thanks in large part to people like YOU... we have achieved our goal and more!
Carolyn Waissman, a paddler on our inaugural 2001 trip (pictured here on PO 2001, and PO 2019 along with Riverkeeper and Paddle Oregon instigator, Travis Williams), shares this entry from her 2001 trip journal:
"We met the challenge of the river and experinced five wonderful days enjoying the beauty and solitude... We enjoyed the community of paddlers and feel that we shared in something important. The Willamette is a beautiful river. It was a Great Time and Expereince!"
We feel that Carolyn's sentiment still holds true today! Soooooooooo----------
Come and celebrate 20 years of WOW with us this August!
PADDLE OREGON doesn't mean to brag, but.....
SPECTACULAR NORTHWEST CUISINE
PREPARE TO BE PAMPERED!
Rise and shine with a steaming cup of locally roasted coffee,
followed by a hot breakfast, accompanied by seasonal berries
from local farms. Your sack lunch and snack selections include
more northwest brands, as will your evening appetizers and
dinner (served on real plates, with real cutlery and linen
napkins). From surf-n-turf offerings like wild salmon, Dungeness
crab, and prime rib, to vegan and gluten-free meals and breads,
there is something for everyone to enjoy!
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
We always have a great line up of talent on Paddle Oregon, from celebrated professional musicians to paddlers putting on impromptu river jam sessions, music will be infused into each evening.
WORLD CLASS TERROIR... FOR YOUR CAMPSITE
If you find yourself thirsty in the Willamette Valley, you are in the right place.
Nestled between Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and the Coast Range, the Willamette Valley’s terrain is varied and huge. It’s Oregon’s leading wine region, and is home to over two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards. Recognized as one of the finest Pinot noir producing areas in the world, more than 80% of Oregon’s Pinot noir is produced in the Willamette Valley. Other cool-climate varieties such as Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer are equally at home here. Wine Enthusiast Magazine, an esteemed, internationally-recognized wine publication, announced Oregon’s Willamette Valley as its 2016 Wine Region of the Year for its annual Wine Star Awards.
In addition, the Willamette Valley's rich soil, mild climate, and abundant rainfall provide ideal conditions for high quality hop production. Hop farming has a rich history in the Valley. In 1932 Oregon led the world in hop production with more than 34,000 acres in production. Many Willamette Valley hop farms have been in production for three, four or even five generations. Oregon is currently the 2nd largest hop producing state in the United States with more than 6K acres in production. Oregon hops support a thriving craft brewing industry; of the 261 brewing facilities in the state, 150 of them fall within the Willamette Valley.
Each evening in camp you'll get to taste our local terroir with offerings from local brewers and wine makers. Look forward to learning from artisan winemakers such as Illahe Vineyards, and hear the facinating story behind their 1899 Pinot Noir first hand!
You’ll also enjoy the immersive experience of camping amongst the historic hop fields at “Chatoe Rogue Farm.” Rogue Brewing is one of the only U.S. breweries to operate its own farm, staying true to the company’s DIY, ground-to-glass philosophy. The farms’s 52 acres boast 10 varieties of hops that will be used in Rogue’s Farm Beers. Located in Independence, once known as the “hop capital of the world,” you can take a guided tour and see what it takes to pull off a harvest, or play yard games while you sip some uber-local suds (including their own root beer, hard cider, and spirits, in addition to local area wines).
GUIDED PAINTING CLASS
Unleash your inner artist in a fun and social environment. NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED. On Wednesday, at our Albany campsite, join Dawning McGuinness, a talented painter and dedicated teacher, who will guide you through creating your own Paddle Oregon themed masterpiece. She will break down the painting step by step, including many breaks for appetizers and beverages, over the course of 1.5 hours. We provide everything, just sign up, show up, sip up and paint, and you’ll take home your own 12” x 16” canvas to remind you of your adventure. Register for this course via your on-line registration for an additional $22, space is limited to 30 painters.
MASSAGE + YOGA
WELLNESS OFF THE WATER
Enjoy twice daily yoga practice lead by Willamette Riverkeeper's own Heather King. Pack your favorite yoga mat or a towel, no expereince is necessary.
After a long day on the river, nothing feels better than a massage. Corvallis based Licensed Massage Therapist Jill Lee, and others will be available each evening to soothe those aching muscles! There is an additional charge for massage, generally $20 for 15 minutes.
EDUCATION IN THE ELEMENTS
Not only will you enjoy paddling the river, you will also have daily opportunities to learn about Willamette Riverkeeper's important work advocating for clean water and healthy habitat! Will will offer Eco Clinics both along the riverside and in camp. We invite experts to share their knowledge with you, including our own Travis Williams, Riverkeeper, Executive Director, and author of the Willamette River Field Guide. Other clinics in 2020 will include Chintimini Wildlife Center presenting LIVE raptors , as well as talks about river geology (get to know your rocks!), Freshwater Mussels and aquatic plants, just to name a few.
EXCLUSIVE CAMPING AREAS
CAMP IN COMFORT
This year our riverside campsites feature a well rounded Willamette Valley expereince including a grassy, quiet, city park, a scenic privately owned riverbend, an ecologically sustainable family farm (NEW in 2020), and an award winning brewery and hop farm. Restrooms and hand washing sinks will be provided at every camp, in addtion to a shower trailer mid-week. Keep in mind that you will not necessarily have access to electricity to charge personal electronics for daily use.